Sporting Kansas City's Logan Ndenbe out for season with ACL tear

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Sporting Kansas City's Audi MLS Cup Playoffs hopes have taken a massive hit, with the club announcing Wednesday left back Logan Ndenbe has suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his right knee.

The 23-year-old, who scored in both of SKC's Round One Best-of-3 wins over top-seeded St. Louis CITY SC for his first two professional goals, will undergo surgery at later date. His recovery time is expected to be between seven and nine months.

Signed by Sporting ahead of the 2022 season, Ndenbe has one assist over 43 regular-season appearances (37 starts).

Playoff impact

The former Belgian youth international found his scoring touch in this year's playoffs, opening his professional account with a left-footed blast that set the tone for Kansas City in a stunning 4-1 upset win at St. Louis in Match 1 of their Round One, Best-of-3 series.

He followed with another decisive strike – this time a right-footed effort that opened the score as Sporting took a 2-1 decision to book their spot in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Ndenbe's absence at left back leaves a hole that could be filled by German veteran Tim Leibold, though the offseason signing with 0g/3a in 869 minutes hasn't made a matchday squad since mid-September. Against St. Louis, head coach Peter Vermes opted for attack-heavy benches, with center back Robert Castellanos and right back Graham Zusi as the only clear defensive options.

Sporting will visit the winner of the Houston Dynamo FC-Real Salt Lake series in the Conference Semifinals.